Donald Trump has had a hard time getting the messaging right when it comes to Puerto Rico.
And who can blame him, right? I mean how do you expect him to stay focused on something “trivial” like a massive hurricane relief effort when NFL players are kneeling during the national anthem and when LeBron James is calling him a “bum” on Twitter?
But Trump is a multitasker. That’s how he was able to simultaneously run a real estate empire into the ground, defraud students via a network of branded “universities”, send you mail order meat, and preside over one of the most spectacular professional sports debacles in U.S. history.
Of course being a multitasker invariably means your time is stretched thin, and so people will forgive you if you make a mistake here and there.
When it comes to Puerto Rico, those mistakes include maligning the Mayor of San Juan during a tragedy, suggesting that hurricanes are what happens to people who are in debt, and suggesting that the entire island is a bunch of lazy, “politically motivated ingrates” who are engaged in a conspiracy involving Nancy Pelosi.
Fortunately, he made amends for those blunders by dedicating a golf trophy to the island.
President Trump dedicates Presidents Cup golf tournament trophy to those affected by hurricanes https://t.co/rDmO0T39II
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 1, 2017
So that brings us neatly to Tuesday, which finds Trump actually on the ground in Puerto Rico and as you can imagine, he immediately exhibited his flair for all things presidential by informing the island that the disaster has “blown a hole” in “a thing called budget.” Here’s the President:
President Trump: “I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little our of whack” https://t.co/nDSnQPbfdq
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 3, 2017
You’ll also note the truly classic moment when Trump asks “what is your death count?” on the way to “proving” how adequate the response has been by way of a comparison with Katrina after which “hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds” of people died. With the confirmed count at “just” 16 casualties for Puerto Rico, Trump says the island can be “very proud.”
Something tells me none of that is quite what Puerto Rico was looking for from Trump – but that’s just our best guess.